How to Dress Like Norma Bates

By Erin / May 10, 2017
Last updated: May 10, 2017
Norma Bates Bates Motel s3e3 blue suit

Norma Bates is the loving, albeit overprotective, mother of Norman Bates in the television series Bates Motel.  We realize very early on in the series that Norma has had a complicated life. While her childhood and previous failed marriages shape who she is, they also have an extreme impact on Norman.

Norma is very charismatic and she uses that characteristic to manipulate many people throughout the series to her advantage. Her main goal in life is to keep Norman safe and at home by her side. While Norma always has Norman’s best interests at heart, it is her unyielding love for him that will eventually be her undoing.

Norma’s style is very feminine and classic. Although the show is set in a modern era, Norma dresses as if she lives in the 50’s. She wears many floral patterns and pastel colors to give off the perfect mother/housewife appearance in order to mask her many dark secrets.

According to Monique Prudhomme, the costume designer for Bates Motel, much of Norma’s wardrobe is custom designed for her, so many items found will be close, but not exact matches. Here is a link to the interview for some more inside information on Norma and Norman’s style.

Clothing Purchasing Guide

We recommend:

Floral Dress Outfit

White Fur, Red Shirt Outfit

Housekeeping Outfit

Purple Skirt Suit Outfit

Corpse Outfit, Robe, & Accessories

Norma's style overview:

  • 50's style outfits
  • Pastel colors
  • Skirt & pants suits
  • Long dresses, robes, & gowns

Starting Over

Norma Bates Bates Motel s1e1 floral dress

​The series starts with a fresh, new beginning for Norma and Norman. In season 1 episode 1, when we first see Norma, she is seen wearing a custom dress similar to this blue pastel, floral dress.

This outfit sets the tone for her character and style throughout the entire series. In this episode, they are moving to White Pine Bay, Oregon to start over after the traumatic death of her second husband.

Norma is energetic and optimistic of the opportunities ahead of them and these emotions are reflected in the light, fresh look of her wardrobe.

To compliment the light colors of the dress, pair it with this white cardigan.  Instead of the white belt included with this dress, try this navy blue one similar to the one Norma wears in this episode.  To complete this outfit, try these navy blue wedges and watch.

​Takin' Care of Business

​Norma seems to have an outfit for every occasion. When a mysterious man shows up at the motel in season 1 episode 8, she has to try and sneak into his room to figure out more about him.

Dressed as a housekeeper, Norma tries to sneak around his room to find out more information.

On a typical day running the motel, Norma will dress slightly more casually. This purple plaid shirt paired with blue jeans and a pair of Sperry top-siders are perfect for working hard to get the motel up and running.

Of course, to pose as the housekeeper, she pairs her everyday outfit with a similar maid top.

Standing Up for What She Believes In

Norma Bates Bates Motel s2e1 purple skirt suit

​In season 2 episode 1, we see a more professional side of Norma.

She is approaching the city council regarding the new highway bypass proposal that would divert much of the traffic away from the Bates Motel and impact the business.

Her purple skirt suit, white button down, and brown leather bag put off the professional image, but when things don’t go according to plan, Norma loses her cool as we can see several times throughout the series.

Complete Norma’s look with a couple close accessories like these teal teardrop earrings.  Her watch is the same as the one previously mentioned that she wears with the blue, floral dress from season 1 episode 1.

Sleeping in Style

​Norma has an outfit for every occasion, so why should her nightwear be any exception?

Norma’s custom, long blue robe is seen in many episodes throughout the series. It is a staple in her wardrobe, which is why it is also an obvious choice for Norman to wear when he “transforms” into Norma at times.

She wears several different robes throughout the series, and they are all custom made for Norma. Despite having different patterns, they are all basically long, blue, vintage style robes.

The closest match to any robe is this blue silk robe from season 4 episode 6, where Norma lovingly says goodbye to Sheriff Romero as he heads to work in the morning.

Midlife Crisis

In season 3 episode 6, Norma is forced to face her brother Caleb. Instead of facing her problems head on, she decides to run away and takes on a new style in the process.

She sells her vintage Mercedes along with her vintage clothes and replaces them with a Ford Mustang and a sultry new outfit.

This red button down top and white fur jacket ​jacket combo is far from Norma’s typical clothing choice. She pairs the top layers with similar black jeans, black stiletto booties, and some dark eye makeup.

Even Norma knows she can’t run forever, and that changing her clothes won’t change her history with Caleb.

Frozen in Time

Norma Bates Bates Motel Norma corpse

In the final season of Bates Motel, after Norma’s death, Norman retrieves her body from her grave and creates an altar to her in the Bates’ basement freezer. While Norma may be gone from her earthly body, her spirit is still very much alive in Norman’s mind.

As her body is preserved in the basement, Norman sees her everywhere in the home and creates an elaborate story in his head to justify his insanity. The altar Norman creates is eerily beautiful as she is dressed almost like royalty.

She is wearing in a long blue gown and covered in a brown fur, ​a perfect balance to the flowers and Norman’s taxidermy surrounding her.

​Norma’s style is classic and custom. She is always well-kept no matter what stressful things are happening in her life. No matter the occasion, Norma has the perfect outfit for every situation.

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Erin

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